FERC Deals Severe Blow to LNG Project Strongly Opposed by Southern Oregonians

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Denies Rehearing of March 11, 2016 Denial of Permits for Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal and Pacific Connector LNG Pipeline.

The Federal Energy Regulator Commission (FERC) today dealt a severe blow to the Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal and Pacific Connector LNG Pipeline that have been strongly opposed for years by a grassroots coalition of Southern Oregonians.

In today’s action, FERC denied a rehearing of the commission’s March 11, 2016 order that denied permits for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and pipeline.

“Today’s action shows that when Oregonians organize and speak out we can win,” said Hannah Sohl, director of Rogue Climate, one of the organizations involved in a broad coalition opposing the LNG project. “This order puts the public interest over the special interests of large out-of-state corporations interested only in short-term profit at our expense. Our state should be focused on creating good-paying jobs in improving energy efficiency and the expanding clean energy industry, such as solar power, not on new fossil fuel projects that hurt us all. This should be the end of this LNG project but we will have to remain vigilant to ensure that is the case.”

The LNG project would have trampled landowner rights, risked polluting more than 400 waterways, driven up energy prices, and created the largest source of climate pollution in the state.

FERC’s order today noted that the March 11 order found that “Pacific Connector failed to demonstrate a need for the project sufficient to outweigh the potential harm to the economic interests of landowners whose property rights might be taken by exercise of the right of eminent domain.”

FERC policy provides that fairness to affected parties requires that at some point there be a final determination on an application except in “extraordinary circumstances.” Landowners have long complained that their properties have been held hostage for years by the possibility of the pipeline crossing their land through use of eminent domain.

FERC notes in today’s order that “Pacific Connector had every opportunity to demonstrate market need.  Nevertheless, it failed to do so over a three-and-a-half year long period, despite the issuance of four data requests by Commission staff seeking such information.  As a result, we do not find that Pacific Connector’s request to reopen the record to file precedent agreements at this late date rises to the level of extraordinary circumstances that would overcome our need for finality in the administrative process.  Pacific Connector’s request to reopen the record is denied."

The FERC Denial is linked here. 

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